There are many benefits of technology in the classroom, especially as students are becoming increasingly digitally literate.
The increase in worldwide computer usage and the need for computer skills in today's workforce have pushed the US government to create guidelines, such as the Core Curriculum Content Standards, to ensure that students are prepared to meet the demands of the twenty first century.
Maintaining a citizenry that is well versed in the STEM fields is a key element of the United States' public-education agenda.
Through the implementation and integration of Web 2.0 computer technologies into the classroom setting, students are able to have new authentic and meaningful learning experiences.
Another advantage of using technology in the classroom is its flexibility and adaptability to differentiated learning.
STEM fields, or STEM education, is an acronym for the fields of study in the categories of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
The Importance of Using Technology in the Classroom
There are many benefits of using technology in the classroom, especially as students become increasingly digitally literate. The shift in worldwide computer usage and the need for computer skills in today's workforce have pushed the United States government to create guidelines, such as the Core Curriculum Content Standards, for educators to ensure that students are prepared to meet the demands of the 21st century.
Technology use is particularly important in STEM fields. STEM is an acronym for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The term is typically used in education policy with a focus on improving the United States' competitiveness in technology development. Technology use in STEM has implications for workforce development, national security concerns, and immigration policy. Because of this, maintaining a citizenry that is well versed in the STEM fields is therefore a key element of the United States' public-education agenda.
Ways to Incorporate Technology in the Classroom
This increasing focus on technology use in schools and the shifts in ways that modern-day learners communicate have impacted how computers are used in the classroom. Currently, teachers utilize various Web 2.0 tools to enhance their instruction. Such tools are also being used to extend classroom communication outside of campus.
Centered primarily on collaboration and sharing, Web 2.0 computer applications encourage student self-expression, interaction with peers, and opportunity for authentic learning experiences (see ). Through the implementation and integration of Web 2.0 computer technologies in the classroom setting, students are now able to have new authentic and meaningful learning experiences. For example, modern-day education is not focused on simply learning concepts or facts as they are laid out in a curriculum. Instead, it is about the process of building connections. As a result, students gain an awareness of the importance and the value of communication. Today, with a single laptop, a webcam, a projector, and an Internet connection, a teacher can broadcast and begin collaboration with any other classroom. As groups of learners coalesce around shared passions online, they experience something that is difficult to replicate in physical space.
Technology in the classroom enables the use of more interactive educational tools, which allows for a dynamic learning experience that directly benefits students. Web 2.0 interaction involves not only sharing ideas and information with someone else but also receiving feedback. As classroom computer technology is being used for different types of communication (for presentation, for class interaction, and for collaboration), students are required to be readers, writers, editors, and publishers and must be willing to collaborate and co-create closely with others -- all skills that are critical for students to learn as they grow and enter the workplace.
Another advantage of using technology in the classroom is its flexibility and adaptability to differentiated learning. Technologies such as podcasts and vodcasts, for instance, provide students with the opportunity to learn at their own pace and the freedom to go back and relearn content whenever they want. This could be especially important for ESL students and students with learning disabilities: many ELL and ESL students need additional support with pronunciation and defining common vocabulary that may be new to them. Other students, might have difficulty reading and reviewing complex texts. The ability to access podcasts and vodcasts on classroom computers can help address these students' needs. Using technology in the classroom, therefore, can help combat the "lecture style" system of education, which does cater to a variety of learning processes.